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Observed annually on January 27th to remember the victims of the Holocaust, in which millions of Jews were systematically murdered by the Nazi regime during World War II, International Holocaust Remembrance Day serves as a reminder to never forget the horrors of the past and to strive for a more just and peaceful world.

History of International Holocaust Remembrance Day

The Holocaust was a genocide that took place during World War II in which millions of Jews, as well as other minority groups, were systematically tortured and killed by the Nazi regime in Europe. Beginning in 1933 when Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany and implemented policies of racial purity and persecution of Jews and other minorities, the Holocaust reached its height in 1941 when the Nazis began the extermination of Jews in concentration camps across Europe, and ended in 1945 when Allied forces liberated the concentration camps and defeated the Nazi regime. The Holocaust is remembered as one of the darkest periods in human history.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day was established by the United Nations in 2005 to mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1945. The day is held every January 27th to honor the victims of the Holocaust and to recognize the importance of remembering and learning from this tragic event. The day is observed around the world with ceremonies, events, and educational programs to honor the victims and to raise awareness about the dangers of hatred, discrimination, and violence.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day Timeline

January 30, 1933

Hitler becomes chancellor

Adolf Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany, setting the stage for the implementation of policies of racial purity and persecution of Jews and other minority groups.[1]

September, 1939

Invasion of Poland

Nazi forces invade Poland, beginning World War II and leading to the occupation and persecution of Jews in Poland.[2]

June 22, 1941

Operation Barbarossa

Nazi forces launch Operation Barbarossa, invading the Soviet Union and leading to the mass murder of Jews in the occupied territories.[3]

January 27, 1945

Liberation of Auschwitz

Soviet forces liberate the Auschwitz concentration camp, revealing the horrific conditions and mass murder of Jews and other prisoners.[4]

November 1, 2005

International Holocaust Remembrance Day is founded

Following the 60th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust, the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60/7 establishes January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.[5]

How to Observe International Holocaust Remembrance Day

There are many ways to observe this day and to pay tribute to the victims of the Holocaust:

Attend a Local Ceremony or Event

Many communities hold ceremonies or events honoring the Holocaust victims on this day. You can attend one of these events to pay your respects and to learn more about the history of the Holocaust.

Educate Yourself and Others

The Holocaust is a complex and tragic event that is important to understand and remember. You can educate yourself and others by reading books, watching documentaries, and visiting Holocaust museums. This can help you to learn more about what happened and to understand the importance of preventing such atrocities from happening again.

Take Action to Combat Hatred and Discrimination

The Holocaust was the result of hatred and discrimination that led to the persecution and murder of millions of people. You can take action to combat these issues in your own community by speaking out against hate, and volunteering with organizations that work to promote tolerance and understanding.

Reflect and Remember

Finally, you can observe International Holocaust Remembrance Day by simply taking a moment to reflect on the tragedy of the Holocaust and to remember the victims. You can do this by lighting a candle, saying a prayer, or simply by taking a moment to think about the impact of the Holocaust on the world.

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